Southeast wordsmiths gather for workshop
by Mary Helen Yarborough
Their jobs are to assure clarity and accuracy of the written word.
These copy editors and members of the American Copy Editors Society
(ACES) Southeast chapter assembled for a daylong workshop at MUSC on
Jan. 25 to discuss the future of newspapers, their lives outside of a
struggling print medium, and what to expect in the evolving platform
through which the public gets its news.
President Dr. Ray Greenberg provides a warm, informative welcome to the
estimated 65 in attendance at the American Copy Editors Society
Southeast chapter workshop Jan. 25.
On the cold, damp Sunday, MUSC President Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D.,
provided a warm, informative welcome to the estimated 65 in attendance;
many of whom traveled from Greenberg’s earlier academic stomping
grounds in Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C.
Prior to the gathering, teamwork by MUSC staff assured hospitable and comfortable accommodations.
Meanwhile, these detailed-oriented wordsmiths admired the peaceful,
palatial tower and ART facilities. They included college professors,
wire editors, reporters, bloggers, columnists and communications
consultants from the Carolinas and Georgia.
Considered by some as the bane of writers’ existence, copy editors also
are blamed when errors are printed. But their numbers are shrinking
along with the pages and ads in the paper; and they are looking for
Van King, former newspaper publisher-turned-dean of the Queens
University Communications Department, assured the weary that copy
mastery also is needed in the business world, so there’s life after
print media. MUSC’s media relations director Heather Woolwine explained
how institutional public relations can supplement the flow of
information from overworked reporters, citing the abundance of solid
health stories coming out of MUSC each week. Vicky Agnew, Hollings
Cancer Center strategic communications director, explained the process
and her experience of finding a niche in the field of media and
Ian Bryant, a graphic artist for the Post and Courier, discussed the
multi-media direction that newspapers are taking to evolve and compete
with TV and the Internet. And blogger Wendy Parker, a former reporter
for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, expressed a mix of fear and hope
about her future in a still-new medium. She also reported on the
industrious, recently-unemployed journalists in Georgia who have formed
a new wire service covering state news.
At the end of the day, most from the conference concurred that while
staying afloat has grown especially tough during terrible economic
times, the fourth estate, with the help of qualified copy editors, will
continue to help document history for readers of news sent to laptops,
handheld devices or on the doorsteps of America for years to come.
thank you to the following for helping with the workshop: Darlene
Gaffney, program assistant for MUHA Heart and Vascular Clinical
Outcomes and Quality. Sharlene Atkins, office administration in the
Office of Public Relations. Crystal Youngblood and Danny Williams of
Security and Security worked with Nate Williams of Facilities
Maintenance. Lorraine Rivers, Ashley River Tower cafeteria supervisor.
Friday, Jan. 30, 2009